Who doesn’t want to be better at something? In this competitive world, learning a new skill is not just for you to be successful. Sometimes you’re simply doing yourself a favour. Pursuing a new skill and being good at it helps you gain new experiences and trains your brain to operate under challenges.
No matter how challenging mastering a skill is, it is such a fulfilling feeling. This is very much true in mountain biking. For you to be a great biker, you shouldn’t just be fit and fast. You must also know bike handling skills and show technical riding ability. You should desire to improve and start with something.
If you’re new to mountain biking but you want to be a well-rounded off-road biker, here are six tips that you may consider to improve your skills. Take a look and see which you should focus on.
1. Set up your bike properly.
When your bike fits you, you’ll be comfortable and confident regardless of what kind of trail you’ll encounter. That’s why it’s important to start with your bike first.
Setting up your bike properly not only sets you up for your comfort but also helps you avoid pain and soreness. You should adjust your bike’s components to improve your overall performance on the bike and reduce your fatigue afterwards by enhancing efficiency.
Ensuring that your bike is set up suitably is now easy with the advancements in mountain bike technology. You can start your bike adventure using ICAN, Carbon MTB Wheels and make yourself more familiar with brakes, adjustable suspension, tire offerings, thru-axles and more. Also, if you have learned how to set up your bike, you should prepare to learn how to maintain it.
2. Look at where you want to go.
Scanning the trail appropriately will help you prepare for changes in the track or any obstacle. Look as far up the trail as possible. Look at where you want to go. Your bike will go where your eyes will direct it to go. If you keep on looking at a rock or any obstacle you want to avoid, you might end up hitting it. So better keep your eyes on the line you want to take.
3. Learn how to use brakes effectively.
Mountain bike brakes are powerful, and you need to learn your way through them. It’s more than squeezing the levers to put the bike to a stop. Braking should be consistent and controlled.
Braking before obstacles, not in the middle of them, is a must-have skill for a biker. This is one reason why you should look ahead and assess an obstacle before reaching it. The speed must be adjusted before rocks and roots, and it must be maintained through them.
When you find yourself turning too hot, make sure not to use your front brake. Otherwise, your front tire will slide, which might send you to the bars or the ground.
4. Get a riding partner.
If you want to grow as a rider, then you should pick out the right riding partner or group. If you want to improve, train with someone better than you, if not the best. It pushes you to the next level, physically and mentally.
Riding with someone encourages you to be better. Your riding partner can support you in your growth as an athlete. You’ll learn valuable skills and pick up useful riding habits like handling rocky sections. You’ll know you get the right one if he or she goes a long way in helping you become better as a rider.
5. Train your mind and body to relax.
Your body might automatically tense when you approach tough sections. So you have to train your mind and body or consciously remind yourself to relax whenever you see there’s a tough one ahead. Also, a climb can feel like it goes on forever, and you might wonder if you could make it. Honing your mental game will help in this a lot.
6. Choose your line.
You must know how to pick your line. And it should not be the hardest but the cleanest and most efficient one through the terrain. Remember, the best line in mountain biking is not always the most challenging line. Sometimes it’s the path of least resistance.
It’s not enough that you know how to make hard maneuvers to get through challenging sections of terrain. Going through it clean and with speed is better. You can do it by thinking where your wheels will go rolling. Roots, rocks and other obstructions can stop you on your track. They can also catch your rear wheel and cause it to spin. So try to avoid them. If they’re everywhere, pick a route where they’re not too big.
To master any skill, there’s nothing better than repetition. So make sure to keep on practising these tips and you’ll see yourself improving in no time - stronger and more confident.